Stuntman posing as NBI agent nabbed for illegal recruitment

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2019   •   2174

Ryan Martin Cabañas

MANILA, Philippines – Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested a stuntman who works at a known TV network on Monday (May 27).

CIDG Detective and Special Operations Unit Chief Lt Col. Domingo Soriano said that suspect Ryan Martin Cabañas, 38, was nabbed inside his home in Cainta, Rizal while being served with a warrant of arrest for charges of illegal recruitment.

Soriano said the operation was prompted by a number of complaints they received from Cabañas’ alleged victims.

During the operation, authorities confiscated from Cabañas a number of firearms and ammunition including an unlicensed caliber .22 rifle.

An identification card and badge of an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were also recovered from the suspect.

Soriano said Cabañas was using the ID and the badge to introduce himself as an NBI volunteer agent.

Cabañas is now facing charges for violation of R.A. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Law. – (with details from Lea Ylagan)

4 illegally recruited Filipinos intercepted at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Four Filipinos who attempted to leave the country as tourists bound for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

In a statement released on Sunday, BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina said the four men were stopped by immigration authorities at the departure area of the NAIA Terminal 1 last Friday after attempting to board their flight to Abu Dhabi.

The bureau said the four pretended to be tourists bound for the UAE, and planned to proceed to Amman in Jordan before going to Libya where they were allegedly hired to work as aircon technicians and pipe fitters.

“They said they were recruited to work in Libya despite the deployment ban at the initiative of their friends and relatives who are already working there,” Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) Chief Timotea Barizo was quoted as saying in the statement.

Investigation conducted by immigration officials revealed that the return tickets presented by the four passengers are not valid, thus reinforcing suspicion that they are not tourists and whose real purpose in leaving is to work abroad.

The four also allegedly admitted during questioning that they would go to Libya where high paying jobs await them because of their technical expertise.

“They said they were recruited to work in Libya despite the deployment ban at the initiative of their friends and relatives who are already working there,” Barizo said.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the incident should prompt BI officers at the airport to be stricter in enforcing the ban on the deployment of overseas workers to Libya where a civil war has been raging among groups that want to wrest control of the government.

“We cannot allow our countrymen to be put in harm’s way by working in such dangerous places,” he stressed.

He added that there are many other countries which are peaceful and where Filipinos could make a living for the benefit of their families here.

The bureau also reminded Filipinos seeking job overseas not to skirt deployment policies.

Duterte orders NBI to take over Clarin town mayor David Navarro’s slay case

Marje Pelayo   •   October 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop its investigation on Clarin-Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro’s slay case.

Navarro was ambushed by armed men on his way to Cebu City Prosecutor’s office on board a police patrol car on October 25 for inquest proceedings on charges of alleged sexual assault.

He was on Duterte’s drug watchlist of narco-politicians.

The President said he wanted an impartial investigation that is why he ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to handle the case instead.

Navarro was under police custody when the crime happened.

Mas gusto ko ang NBI na lang…kasi noong nangyari iyan, kasama ang pulis (I prefer that the NBI [conduct the investigation] because when the incident happened, the police were there),” Duterte said.

“To make it really fair, I’d like to order the police to terminate their investigations and hand it to the NBI whatever documents and all proof or evidence that they have in their hands,” he added.

The Chief Executive said he had a conversation with Navarro several weeks before the ambush where the local official admitted to receiving death threats.

The PNP, for its part, assured that it is ready to heed the President’s order while the Department of Justice (DOJ) welcomes the President’s decision.

“Given the circumstances surrounding the killing of Clarin Mayor Navarro, the President’s directive for the NBI to take over the investigation of the incident should quell any doubts regarding this government’s commitment to solve the case and bring to account those responsible,” concluded DOJ Spokesperson Mark Perete. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

AFP destroys over 1,500 seized firearms

Robie de Guzman   •   October 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday destroyed thousands of firearms and magazines as part of its effort to curb the proliferation of illegal and loose firearms in the country.

The AFP said a total of 1,561 firearms and 55,730 magazine assemblies from across the country were destroyed in a ceremonial demilitarization at its headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The military added these firearms and magazines were either captured, confiscated, surrendered and recovered through legitimate military operations and community engagements up to 2016.

The ceremony was part of the 12th Founding Anniversary of the AFP Munitions Control Center (MCC), a unit primarily mandated for the accounting and destruction of CCSR firearms and magazines which were determined as non-standard, obsolete, and beyond economical repair.

It also helps AFP units inspect and maintain their firearms and ensure the serviceability of their issued weapons.

“This program will significantly reduce the number of unserviceable CCSR firearms and eventually dispose of all unofficial and dilapidated weapons in the inventory of the AFP,” said AFP Vice Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr. delivered by Major General Erickson Gloria, the Deputy Chief of Staff.

“This translates to the 90% completion of the demilitarization program of the Philippine Army. Likewise, I would like to commend the AFP MCC for this successful demilitarization,” he added.

The military said the CCSR firearms and their various accessories go through a process of identification and verification.

Those that will not be used as evidence in court and are not subjected to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program will not be destroyed and will be turned over to proper authorities.

Firearms with defaced serial numbers will undergo a process to identify its ownership, while all non-standard items will be destroyed.

The AFP said it has an ongoing campaign to recover loose firearms as part of efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism in the country.

Last year, a total of 4,782 assorted unlicensed firearms were confiscated with the help of the local government executives, prominent political families, and religious leaders in Mindanao, according to the military.

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